News From the Field
Flipping Hot Jupiters
May 11, 2011
In the last few years, astronomers have observed that with some extrasolar planets--planets that orbit stars other than the sun--the star is spinning one way and the planet, a "hot Jupiter," is orbiting the star in the opposite direction. A Northwestern University research team is the first to model how these huge planets got so close to their stars--thanks to gravitational perturbations by a much more distant planet--and how the planets' orbits can flip in the process.
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.
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